Holy shit, this will be fascinating to watch: the Pope is actually calling on churches to help the poor and needy — you know, like actual servants of the community — or cough up some taxes like the rest of us. Apparently many churches in Europe are making money by renting out their spaces, but they’re turning away poor refugees because there’s no money to be made there. For years I’ve thought American churches should pay taxes since they seem so interested in having a political influence (Prop 8 being a famous example), but this rental thing is something I wasn’t aware of. As George Carlin wisely said years ago: tax them on their real estate holdings, because the Catholic church alone would wipe out the federal budget deficit.
Anyway, this kind of “help those in need” scolding might just get this Pope booted from the Vatican. On many issues he’s not exactly going down the same tired path as previous Popes who were determined to stay firmly rooted in the Dark Ages thinking. I wonder if they’re already planning for his replacement. He might want to start riding that bulletproof Pope Mobile to the office…
Pope warns religious orders: Take in refugees, or pay property taxes
ROME — On the eve of a trip to the United States, Pope Francis has called himself a “son of immigrants” and confirmed the point by issuing a blunt warning to any religious orders in Europe that spurn his recent call to open their doors to refugees because they want to make money off their properties instead.
Go ahead, the pope said, but be ready to pay taxes just like everybody else.
“Some religious orders say ‘No, now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests, and support ourselves that way, or make money,’” the pontiff said.
“Well, if that is what you want to do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a hotel, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”
Anyone who’s been on Facebook long enough has run across one of those “Click ‘Like’ to send a prayer for this sick child!” posts. And people do it, as if clicking that button does anything at all…besides make you feel good about yourself, that is.
I thought it was time for this. You’re welcome. 🙂
This is How You Can Help a Ugandan School Built on Humanist Principles
I’ve posted a couple articles on this site, written by Sean McGuire, about the Kasese Humanist Primary School, a school in Uganda that’s founded and run on Secular Humanist principles, a school that emphasizes science and teaches students to think critically.
These days I’m trying to support secular charities such as Responsible Charity who are actually doing some good in this world without attaching religious strings. This sounds like another worthwhile charity, especially if it helps to counter the evil being done by Christians in that country. Check it out.
What this guy (and his organization) has done is truly remarkable and inspiring. His charity work in India is in direct response to Mother Teresa’s massively corrupt and wasteful organization, the inner workings of which he helped to expose. His charity may be “small potatoes” in India right now, but it’s doing a lot of great work and constantly growing. I’m about to sign up for regular donations.
Unlike some religious-based organizations which have no progressive plans in effect to educate and empower the children, women and men out of poverty, Responsible Charity would like to make advances in areas of education, planned parenthood and self employment.
We invite you to join and support our humanist charity. Our vision is directly aimed at the evolution of compassion; and creating a new and transparent model for others to follow! Together, we ARE the change we wish to see in the world!
Now that D.C. recognizes same-sex marriages, Catholic Charities (which is paid $20 million/year by the city to perform “charity” work) is throwing a tantrum about having to treat homosexuals as human beings with rights. They’re ending their contract with the city for their adoption program.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington closed its 80-year-old foster care and public adoption program in the District of Columbia so the agency would not have to violate church teaching by licensing same-sex couples as foster or adoptive parents.
…Under a new law allowing same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, Catholic Charities would have been required to place children with same-sex parents for foster care and adoption, which would violate church teaching that marriage is a permanent union between one man and one woman.
Naturally they’re playing this up as D.C.’s decision on their website:
The D.C. Government informed Catholic Charities that the agency would be ineligible to serve as a foster care provider due to the impending D.C. same sex marriage law.
Nice try. Take your “charity” work elsewhere.
Whoah, looks like UNICEF isn’t screwing around over in Belgium. In order to bring attention to their cause (African ex-child soldiers), they’re blowing the shit out of Smurfs.
I gotta hand it to these folks: if anyone in the American media had the balls to air or print such an ad, there would be a massive rush to the UNICEF website within minutes. Of course, UNICEF would also be sued due to “trauma” caused by the imagery of carpet-bombed Smurfs. But who knows, maybe to really get America’s attention they’d have to replace the Smurfs with something like the Peanuts gang or Hello Kitty…or maybe even Barbie. Hmmm…
It’s telethon time! The stars are clamoring to get on network television and tell us that people in New Orleans need our help. Because, you know, we need celebrities to tell us what’s right. Of course, putting them on teevee means they will be tempted to express an opinion or two about how Bush is handling the disaster. During NBC’s recent telethon, Kayne West took an opportunity to rant about Bush and the media, which caused a mild uproar and got the censors all hot & bothered. More telethons are coming, and everyone’s wondering if the celebrities starring in them will be able to get a non-scripted word in edgewise.
Personally, I don’t quite know how to feel about it. I’m all for expressing opinions loudly and as publicly as possible, and when you have a television audience it’s probably hard to resist the temptation to open your mouth about something. But this isn’t the Grammys or the Academy Awards, where nobody’s counting on the starpower to raise money. The purpose of the telethon is to raise money for disaster relief, and I kinda feel like that should be the main goal of the evening. Having said that, I don’t think the networks should time-delay the shows in order to censor out what they don’t like…I just think it might reflect badly on the ranter when the timing for ranting may not be appropriate. There’s plenty of time to bash Bush and his cronies; for the hour these people are performing, shouldn’t the stars concentrate on getting people to donate?
Jesus, I hope I’m not getting soft! 🙂
On the human interest front, a local boy has helped raise a few thousand dollars for a local charity which benefits the homeless. Here’s his sales pitch: “Last week in the newspaper was a story about a group of people who want to make an old hotel nice and shiny for people who are homeless. These people have coleckted a lot of money but thay still need 2 milleon dollars to make it nice and new. I an riting this leter because it makes me sad that so meny people have to live on the streets. You can give $50 or $1 doller all the money will help ceep lots of people worm and safe.”
How inspirational to see an eight-year-old feel genuine compassion for those who are less fortunate than himself and seek to help them however he can. As a side note, I would like to suggest a companion fundraiser which will benefit young people: “Help kidz lern to spel.”
(Sorry, I know that’s mean…but I just couldn’t help myself!)